Republican Plan To Combat Climate Change In California: Build More Dams

Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker finally weighed in on climate change last week in Nevada, and their big plan for California to cope with it? More dams:

Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co. who ran against U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2010, said it “may well be true” that climate change has worsened effects of the drought. Like many Republicans, however, she blamed environmentalists and their Democratic allies for blocking the construction of dams in the state.

“California has had droughts for millennia,” Fiorina told The Bee. “And so knowing that, you would think that you would prepare for droughts by building reservoirs and water conveyance systems so that you could save the rainwater during years when there’s a lot of rain.”

I suppose it’s a typical Republican line of thought: we shouldn’t ask anyone to moderate their consumption at all — just boost supply. They take the same tack on energy — drive all you want, we’ll drill more!

But the problem is that a growing population, coupled with projections for more and severe droughts, makes expanding water storage unrealistic as a long-term solution.  Not to mention that building dams is extremely expensive, while the more fiscally conservative path would be to encourage cheap conservation measures.  And this doesn’t even account for the environmental destruction associated with building more dams.

Bottom line: not only do these candidates not take the science of climate change seriously, their proposed solutions are impractical, expensive, and destructive.


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